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Utah Jazz look to remain perfect against Los Angeles Lakers in Anaheim tonight

Utah Jazz (3-0) @ Los Angeles Lakers (1-2)
Preseason Game #4: #UTAatLAL
Honda Center, Anaheim, CA
8:00 PM MT, NBA TV (only), 1280 AM / 97.5 FM (radio)

Stephen Dunn

The Utah Jazz take their show on the road with a double road game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, Anaheim's Honda center isn't the STAPLES center, but it's still really in the Lakers dominion. The Lakers are 1-2 this pre-season with a 98-85 win against the Denver Nuggets, then back to back drubbings to the Golden State Warriors (120-105, and 116-75). If you add it up it's a defense that is giving up 110.3 PPG. Of course, I don't think that the Jazz are quite the scorers as Warriors are; if anything, it's the Jazz defense that has appeared more impressive with teams only averaging 89.0 points against. So if you look at it one team gives up 110.3, the other gives up 89.0. Which team should win tonight? Probably the Jazz, right?

Jazz Opp +/- Lakers Opp +/-
1 vs POR 92 73 19 vs DEN 98 95 3
2 @ POR 109 105 4 vs GSW 105 120 -15
3 vs LAC 102 89 13 vs GSW 75 116 -41
Total 303 267 36 Total 278 331 -53
Average 101.0 89.0 12.0 Average 92.7 110.3 -17.7

The Lakers have something to play for, pride, as they play their fourth of eight home games this pre-season. (No, really, in addition to having like 30 TV games this year, the Lakers play all of their pre-season games as home games.) The Jazz want to make sure that this isn't a fluke. But in reality these two teams could end up being at the bottom of the conference when all is said and done.

For the Jazz, the knock is experience and star power. For the Lakers it's age and injury. And injuries are already a thing. Jeremy Lin isn't going to play tonight. Neither will Steve Nash. Nick Young has a thumb injury. Jordan Clarkson could still be out. Xavier Henry is out. And Ryan Kelly is likely to be out as well. Really. Their starting line-up for their last game was Carlos Boozer, Jordan Hill, Wesley Johnson, Nash, and Kobe Bryant. Nash and Kobe went a combined 3-18 from the field, and Boozer went 4-10, and finished with 4 rebounds. It is likely that the Lakers do not pose much of a threat tonight.

Utah is also going to be without Alec Burks for a second game, but Carrick Felix is going to be a game time decision.

Ultimately, though, this is a battle of one team trying to keep the playoff window open, and another that has already bottomed out climbing back up the Western Conference ladder. The game tonight is meaningless. Effectively, you should just watch this video again.

Thanks to JazzBasketball1 for the upload!